I was a little nervous when it was time to get my new Bullet Journal ready for a new year. It looks so clean, fresh and new and there’s a tiny bit of anxiety about messing it up.
But as January approached I had to get over that in order to begin using my new BuJo. Without it I’m a little lost! So, I decided to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good and jumped in, typos be darned.
Getting your Bullet Journal ready for a new year:
Review and Analyze
What worked last year for my BuJo? What didn’t work? Which collections were useful to me, and which ones fell flat? What information is better stored online in Google Drive or EverNote? (Or in an app?)
Some examples: I love my monthly spreads and those get lots of use, but some collections never did. “Films I want to see”, for example. I watch so little TV that this page was nearly blank. My Bullet Journal is most useful to me when filled with information I need to see daily, not rarely. So “Things I want to cook at a dinner party” was not useful (that was moved to Google Drive).
One-off shopping lists go into the Keep app on my phone. I don’t need to see what we got at Starbucks last Friday, or what to buy at the next grocery run. That’s just clutter and better off being deleted (for me – the beauty of the BuJo is its flexibility, everyone’s is different).
What I did add that’s different for this year: Books I Read. (This way, I can see at a glance what to list for posts such as this: my favorite books of 2016!) I also added a blog traffic and income tracker, since growing my blog is a big goal for 2017. And a master list of blog posts of the year, so I can see them at a glance. And my list of yearly goals is front-and-center, since I need to review those frequently to keep them top of mind. And the future log helps me remember appointments and important dates in my year. (I then add those to the monthly spread as I create them.)
I’m sure I’ll be adding more collections as the year progresses. Last year’s BuJo had Pinterest tips (since I was still learning how to maximize that platform), SEO and copywriting/editing checklists (blog jargon, sorry). I didn’t migrate those because that info is second nature now.
Habits trackers are also staying. My list of daily habits: read the Bible, move my body, practice French, stretch for 5 minutes, hug my kids, create a daily to-do list, floss. This page looks blank because I’m writing this post at 5 am on January 2nd 🙂 I simply put a check mark when I complete that task. No fancy doodling to be found.
Migration is what Bullet Journalers do when moving stuff from an old to a new BuJo. This article on yearly migration explains more and is a quick read.
Unlike many other BuJo devotees, I don’t save my old journals. If there is content I want to save forever, I move it to digital format and store it in the cloud (my preferred tool is Google Drive; I use a Chromebook and the search feature is so powerful).
My BuJo for 2016 was ripped to shreds by the time I finished migrating. Then it goes into the trash.
Bullet Journaler Problems
My beloved Slicci 0.25 pens don’t work! I actually asked for a refund from the Amazon seller I bought these from because most of them won’t write. Google says it’s because of air bubbles, but all the shaking in the world won’t dislodge it (if that’s indeed the problem). They have plenty of ink but just won’t write!
I bought a pack of Staedtler triplus fineliners, and I like them, but they bleed through the page – a carnal sin for a BuJo pen!
Any suggestions for a super-fine point pen that won’t bleed through? I’m considering ordering another set of Sliccis, maybe these were just factory duds?
(You might also enjoy this post about how I keep Bullet Journaling simple.)
Are you a Bullet Journal user? How do you get a new BuJo ready for a new year?
Sarah Jean Althouse says
I love the thought of this and really need to figure out how to start one and get into it!
Just jump right in! I started bullet journaling in a plain spiral notebook I had at the time, just to get a feel and because I was worried about messing up a “real” BuJo. Phhbbttt to that! I refuse to let perfect be the enemy of the good. 🙂
Hi, Carrie – I just wanted to recommend a fine point that’s been working well for me. Pilot EasyTouch Retractable Ball Point Fine Point; the Amazon ASIN number is B0006HUHHI. Over the past year I’ve been trying various kinds of notebooks and planners, including a Leuchtturm, and these are working well in all of them. For some reason I have better control over my handwriting when I use these vs other pens, plus with the fine point I can write nice and small.
Although I’m not Bullet Journaling at the moment, I do like to read what other people are doing with theirs. Right now I’m trying a Filofax that’s small enough to keep in my purse.
Carrie Willard says
@Erica – Thanks for the recommendation!
FABER CASTELL PITT Artist Pens- XS, S and F are AMAZING!!!!!
LaShae Dorsey says
I love Bullet Journaling. I *still* use a plain college rule spiral. I also appreciate the habit tracker you shared. The ones I’ve tried didn’t work well. But a grid and checkmarks – yep.
My favorite pens are Pentel R.S.V.P. (BK 90) Fine in all the colors. They draw smooth lines and you can buy refill cartridges.
I’ve been playing around with gel pens from the Dollar Tree to see if I like using them in the journal and I do! Four colorful pens for a $1 that have lasted the entire year. It’s time to buy another set.
As far as setting mine up, I use the Future Log, the Monthly spread with to-do list and then a daily spread where I draw time lines down each side and in the center put whatever comes up that day. This might include notes, ideas, random thoughts, and always includes any tasks and appointments for the day.
I set up an Index in the back instead of the front and use 3 different washi tapes to indicate what’s what. I save my journals for now – but I only have 3 because one spiral notebook lasts 4 months and I’ve been bullet journaling one year this March.
Collections still don’t actually make sense to me, it’s not exactly how my mind works
I’m going to play with all the spreads you mentioned because they sound interesting, especially the Books. I am always trying to find the name of a book to tell someone.